Williams College Athletic Director Lisa Melendy has announced the appointment of Mark Raymond as the college's next head football coach on February 24, 2016. Raymond, who has served for the past six years as head coach at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., turned around the Saints' program into a nationally competitive program.
"Mark brings with him a wealth of coaching experience that will serve our students well," said Melendy, who led a search process that considered 100 candidates and brought four finalists to interview on campus. "Students, faculty, and staff across campus were impressed by his professional demeanor, his clear passion for teaching and coaching football, as well as his inspiring vision for the program. I couldn't be more pleased that Mark will be leading the football team as we begin the next phase of this team's storied tradition."
Raymond comes to Williams having helped build St. Lawrence's team into one of the premier rising powers in the east region, having won at least seven games in three consecutive seasons for the first time in nearly 40 years. When he arrived at St. Lawrence, the Saints had posted just one winning season in the past 20 years and had not participated in the NCAA Tournament in 28 years. In 2015, the team earned national and regional rankings throughout the season, and finished the season ranked in the top 10 nationally in four categories: passes intercepted (5th), tackles for a loss (6th), average punt return yards (8th), and turnovers gained (9th).
Raymond was twice named the Liberty Conference Coach of the Year, including in 2015. Under his leadership, 66 St. Lawrence players have earned All-Liberty League Honors and 97 Saints have been named to the Liberty League All-Academic Squad.
"I'm thrilled that we've been able to attract Mark Raymond to Williams," said Williams President Adam Falk. "All of us are impressed by the sharp upward trajectory of the St. Lawrence football program under his leadership. I'm looking forward to Mark bringing to Williams the same commitment to excellence he showed as head coach at St. Lawrence, both on and off the football field."
Raymond earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Buffalo (where he majored in health and human services and lettered in football for three years) and a master's in education from St. Lawrence. Aside from a brief stint from 2007 to 2010 as a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service, Raymond has spent the past two and a half decades coaching football, nearly all of it at the Division III level.
His intercollegiate coaching career began at St. Lawrence, where he served as an assistant coach for three years (August of 1993 until May 1996) working with linebackers, defensive ends, and wide receivers and serving as recruiting coordinator.
He spent two years at Syracuse University as a graduate assistant coach and head strength coach before taking an associate head coaching position at SUNY Canton in 1998. Then in 1999 he moved to Ithaca College, spending seven years as defensive coordinator. During his time there, Ithaca went 59-19, won five conference titles, and appeared in three NCAA Tournaments.
"I am extremely excited to be named the head football coach at Williams College," Raymond said. "I would like to thank Athletic Director Lisa Melendy and the entire search committee for this wonderful opportunity. I am honored to join an institution so renowned for its academic and athletic excellence. I cannot wait to meet the team and start preparing for the 2016 season."
Raymond, his wife Sarah and daughters Reese and Sydney will reside in Williamstown.